Physics - Example of the speed of sound
Example of the speed of sound
What happens if a plane is accelerating at a speed approaching the speed
of sound? The plane's engines produce sound waves. Consider a compression
being produced and emanating from the plane in all directions. In front of
the plane, a compression will not be able to travel away from the plane
quickly enough. If the plane continues to accelerate it will catch up with
the compression that it has just created. Why is the term "sound barrier"
used? Aircraft flying faster than Mach 1 need to be especially
Did you know? Supersonic aircraft often have dart-shaped delta wings (i.e.
wings that don't stick out very far sideways) like the spaceshuttle. This
is so the wings stay within the shock wave formed around the aircraft,
allowing control to be maintained at supersonic speeds.
Not only does sound travel faster in solids, solids usually transmit sound
more effectively than the air. Sound can travel further in solids without
loss of loudness. The following activity allows you to test this idea.
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